A lot of the time when we are unhappy, it turns out we are just bored. Bored with our jobs, our relationships and our lives. When we are bored, we have a lot of time to think about junky stuff. We think about what might have been, or what might be and in both cases, you are not rooted in the present. Unhappiness, anxiety and depression have no place in a mind that is occupied with doing instead of thinking.
When we lead lives that are unchallenged, we overreact when our self-esteem is tried. Not being able to build on the successes or failures of past attempts at greatness, we think of ourselves as small in an ever increasingly growing world. Life doesn’t care if you fail, sure, your ego may get bruised a little when you try something new, but it doesn’t break.
Once upon a time I too was scared to try anything new. I was guarding a painful past, and the mere thought of trying something and failing shook me into fear. So, I played small every day of my life. Electing to stay safe so that my frail self-esteem would guard the pain of my past. When I finally challenged myself to talk about my pain, it was the first brick laid in a foundation of trying. Ever since then, I am continually challenging my status quo. I can no longer live behind the curtain of “I wish I could do that” and instead, I jump out the window of “I am going to fake it until I make it.” My happiness is peaked when I am challenged.
We are blessed with the strength of thought, but it also our biggest weakness. Instead of just doing and reacting, we instead, respond without doing. If we spent even a fraction of our time and energy we wasted dreaming and spent it doing things that scare us a little, our internal happiness would be off the charts. Our dream to be happy always seems more significant than the act of actually trying to do something new to be happy. Our happiness gets attached to the comfort of status quo and never grows beyond the longest hair on our head.
So take that trip, write that book, run that marathon, go for that job! Challenge the status quo, your happiness awaits you on the other side of fear.
This blog post is part of a series of 26 that focuses on finding your inner happiness. Please check out the rest of the series here: The ABC’s of a Happy Life